Mannar women write to President

[TamilNet, Sunday, 08 April 2001, 12:28 GMT]
"There are many laws and schemes for the protection of women. Appropriate action is not taken against those flouting them. On the contrary, at the highest rungs of the Government, such obvious offences are even denied, disowned and covered up. This creates in the public mistrust in the rule of law and becomes an encouragement for the criminals. The Government, instead of ensuring the safety of the public, is interested in protecting the security forces", the Mannar Women's Front said in a memorandum sent to the President Sunday.

The following is the full text of the memorandum:

"We, of the Women's Front of Mannar comprising of all the women of Mannar, observing a fast in protest against the shameful and inhuman treatment and rape perpetrated on the two ladies, Nanthakumar Vijikala and Sinnathamby Sivamany after their arrest by the security forces on 19.03.2001 at Mannar, raise this earnest entreaty to you: We considered that a lady being the all-powerful President of this country would result in special protection for us, women.

Unfortunately we are thoroughly disappointed in that expectation for the following reasons. The parents or husbands have been the defence of women. But here, women have been isolated from such protection and cruelties have been inflicted on them. There are many laws and schemes for our protection. However they are only on paper and appear to have been enacted only to dupe the world. They are not being implemented and are observed only in the breach. Appropriate action is not taken against those flouting them.

On the contrary, at the highest rungs of the Government, such obvious offences are even denied, disowned and covered up. This creates in the public, mistrust in the rule of law and becomes an encouragement for the criminals. The Government, instead of ensuring the safety of the public, is interested in protecting the security forces. Our femininity is denied to us. We are being treated indecently. The body checks conducted on us under the canopy of security, though carried out by women, are shameful and cause much mental pain to us. Therefore we, numbering over five thousand, who are gathered together here today with heavy hearts, sorrowfully place before you the following requests:

1.A commission of inquiry consisting of a Judge should be appointed to conduct a just and impartial inquiry into the despicable treatment undergone by these two ladies.

2. Firm and meaningful action should be taken to stop the repetitions of such brutal and inhuman atrocities taking place in Mannar or anywhere else in this country.

3.It should be ensured that the dignity of the woman is recognised and the violations of their Human Rights and abuse of women be stopped immediately.

4.The current war, the root cause of all these ills, should be stopped forthwith and permanent peace be created in our land by finding a just solution through political negotiations."

Copies of the memorandum were sent to diplomatic missions, NGOs and religious organisations.

 

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